'Happy calls' help seniors cope with loneliness and boredom amid pandemic

Care Resources PACE staff make hundreds of calls each week
Posted at 10:23 PM, May 05, 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — With many being stuck inside, a local organization is making sure seniors are doing well and taking it a happy step further.

For 82-year-old Beverly Artlip, a simple phone call goes a long way.

Staying safe and alone at her Kentwood home is a little boring, but frequent calls have been helping.

“The calls we get, at least twice a week, sometimes three and sometimes four, just inquiring about how we are getting along whether we need anything like meds, food or just somebody to talk to,” Artlip said.

On the other line is the staff of Care Resources PACE in Grand Rapids, an organization which helps seniors lives healthy and independent lives

“It started out as I was doing a follow up from what the social workers were doing. It kind of turned into a little more personal,” Sue Pence said.

Sue Pence went from making check-up calls to what they now dub “happy calls’ a personal way to keep seniors engaged while their facility is closed.

“They want to come back, they miss the socialization. And that's what part of the happy call is, socialization, getting to know them,” Pence said.

“They have families that they can't see, they can talk to him on the phone. So it kind of helps when somebody can call and just shoot the bologna or however you want to call it. And, you know, make them laugh, make them joke,” Pence added.

During a time filled with unknowns, for people like Beverly, those conversations are invaluable.

“I love it, it makes you feel like you are cared about, it just makes you feel good,” Artlip said.

To find out if you or a loved one is eligible for Care Resources PACE, inquire here.